chisotahn: Firebird with the text "Firebird's Child". (don't ever leave me.)
[personal profile] chisotahn posting in [community profile] ikuzeaibou
Title: Reach Out (Part 10) - Life
Fandom: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Characters: Yosuke with the rest of the surviving Investigation Team + spoilers. Pairings are Souji/Yosuke (in the past), implied Chie/Yukiko and Kanji/Naoto.
Summary: AU, pseudo-fill for [livejournal.com profile] badbadbathhouse; details in the notes for the first part, here.

Souji has fallen in battle, and the rest of the team moves on without him, with Yosuke taking up the job of leader. They manage to catch the killer and continue on with their lives as best they can, but as time moves on, they begin to question if everything is truly resolved...

Notes: This will spoil you in the face for the true ending. This is part ten of ten. Thank you for reading. ♥




"How on earth are we ever going to explain this?" Naoto says, shaking her head and smiling; they're all laying on the grass on a sun-covered hillside, breathing in the fresh, clean air of this new world.

Souji winces, just a little. "Oh, I don't think anyone will notice the Midnight Channel," he begins, only to get cut off by Yosuke elbowing him lightly. "I... have no idea."

It certainly is a problem, considering they'd rather not give any of Souji's family a heart attack, and Yosuke really has no clue how they're going to explain any of it. While at the moment the actual explanation doesn't seem to matter so much - here under the warm sun, all together, all alive - there's a hesitation in Souji's words now, and Yosuke turns his head enough to shoot Chie a worried glance.

Chie nods, just slightly, then gets to her feet and stretches. "Anyone up for a swim? I want to wash all that dead-goddess stink off."

"That's a great idea," Yukiko chimes in, smiling softly as she gets up. "What about you guys?"

"I'm way too tired to move," Souji says, quietly. "You go ahead, though."

"I'll stay with you, Sensei-" Teddie begins, but Rise grabs him by one ear and tugs, hard.

So Chie, Yukiko, and Rise go, with Teddie asking them urgent questions about scoring that will probably get him thrown into the sparkling new lake. Kanji and Naoto end up walking away together, saying something about exploring, and then it's just the two of them left on the grassy hillside, looking up into the cloudless sky.

"Reminds me of the riverbank," Souji says, after a moment.

"Heh, I haven't been down there in a long time. Not since... well, you know."

There's a long silence, then a soft sound as Souji shifts position. Yosuke leans his head to one side to glance at his best friend, then sits up sharply, breath catching in his throat - because Souji isn't laying down on the grass anymore. He's sitting up, knees hugged to his chest, trembling in every limb.

"S-Souji!" Yosuke scrambles to sit up too, and scoots over to wrap one arm around Souji's shoulders, holding him tightly. "You okay?!"

"No... sorry..." comes the muffled reply, and a shudder runs through Souji's frame as he shifts to lean heavily against Yosuke. "Everything was so... so scattered and you said I... really... was dead... I- what're we going to do now-"

Yosuke just squeezes him tighter. While Souji's always taken things in stride, what's happened to him is profoundly disturbing, entirely outside anyone's definition of normal. He's sort of amazed that Souji managed to hold it together this long, but at the same time, it's very like Souji to wait until the important things are finished before letting himself collapse. "Hey, so were we... I mean, not for months, but-"

Souji buries his head in his hands. "But they- I- you said my body showed up on top of Junes, and they cremated it... me-" He abruptly pulls his hands away from his face and pinches the back of one hand hard enough to bruise. "Ow-"

"Souji..." is the only thing Yosuke can think of to say; what the hell do you say at a time like this, anyway? There's no precedent.

"And everyone," Souji continues, still trembling, "you all... it had to hurt so much, and my parents and my uncle and oh god, Nanako-chan..." He turns to look at Yosuke, frightened, guilty tears tracing down his cheeks. "And it was so... so... damn it-"

"I know," Yosuke says, quietly. "I... saw everything, all those... everything." All the little pieces is what he doesn't say aloud, because that's really not going to be a comforting thought for Souji, imagining himself all broken up into mindless bits and echoes. But Souji shudders again, and Yosuke has a feeling that the thought's come to mind anyway.

And it is like the riverbank, like when Yosuke cried for Saki-senpai, only this time it's Souji crying and shaking for those lost months, for all the pain they all suffered at his loss, for a seemingly endless time spent floating senseless in a sea of noise. So Yosuke tries to do for Souji what his best friend did for him that day, way back when. He holds on, and after a moment Souji turns, lets go of his own knees, and clings to Yosuke instead. It's a strange thing, to whisper quiet reassurances and lightly stroke at his friend's hair, but if anyone's earned the right to break down now, it's Souji.

Yosuke's not really sure how long they sit there, with the warm breeze carrying the scent of flowers past them. But, eventually, Souji takes a deep, shuddering breath and pulls back a little, easing his desperate grip on Yosuke's clothing; his face is tear-stained, eyes red, reflecting a bone-deep exhaustion that Yosuke can only barely comprehend. "I'm sorry," he whispers. "I'm so sorry - I can't imagine... how much it hurt... but you did what I couldn't do..."

"... Any of us would have done the same thing," Yosuke tries, before his voice fails him, and he has to pause for a moment to get his composure back - because it had hurt, more than anything. "I... I would have done everything just the same, I think, even if things didn't turn out this way..."

Well. No. Not everything.

"Look, I..." The words echo in Yosuke's mind, carrying with them the hopelessness of that foggy night, of the sight of Souji's body tangled in the telephone wires atop Junes - but the pain of that memory is eroding under the warm sun, with Souji leaning against him. "Damnit, I didn't manage to say this properly before-"

Souji just looks at him, still with that lost look in his tired eyes.

Yosuke sighs. If there's ever a time for this, it's now. Even if it should have been months ago. "I just... I need you, damnit," he mumbles. "I need you. I... love you." He hears Souji make a small, startled noise, feels him tense, and wonders if he's said the wrong thing. Yosuke ducks his head and closes his eyes as he presses his lips against Souji's; they did this and more back then, but that was - literally - a lifetime ago.

For a moment, Souji is completely still, not moving at all, but then his lips part under Yosuke's. It's quick, relatively chaste in comparison, but somehow profoundly intimate for all that. When Yosuke shakily pulls back and opens his eyes, Souji is smiling - just a little, but what's there is genuine. "Something to come back to," he says, quietly.

"God, I missed you," Yosuke breathes before Souji returns the kiss, and this time it isn't chaste in the least.

And they're going to have a lot to explain - why and how Souji can possibly be alive and well when the seven of them saw him die, when his family saw his corpse; and, to a much lesser extent, why he and Yosuke are now kissing each other desperately on a sun-drenched hillside in what used to be the twisted, deadly world inside the television. And it's not going to be easy, none of it, and there will be a lot of hard questions and a lot of pain when it comes to the first part... yet there will also be joy, and terrified gratitude.

And the second part will help immeasurably.

"Love you, too," Souji whispers, tangling his fingers into Yosuke's hair.

"Don't ever leave me-"

"I won't."

For right now, none of the hard questions matter.

LOL DONE

From: [identity profile] hpdigipokefan.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-22 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand

TurnAway!Anon says...

Date: 2009-03-22 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strangestquiet.livejournal.com
sdfsdfsadfdfds

WHY ARE YOU AND THIS SO AWESOME?

I just ... love this, beyond loving. D: It was so well-written and just an amazing emotional rollercoaster. I think my favourite bit (aside from YAY NO MORE DEAD SOUJI!) was with Yosuke and his Shadow - god, it just twisted me all up inside. In all the best ways. &hearts

(I'm also stupidly glad you made it so that Yosuke was carrying Souji's glasses all that time. I'm doujinshi-fying my fill and that was also one of the things I added. XD Now it fits together!)

So much love for all this work! BRB reading again. &hearts

Re: TurnAway!Anon says...

Date: 2009-03-22 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] safelybeds.livejournal.com
Overly!Specific Anon her...

I just wanted to say....yay for meeting you out of anonship. AND DOUJIFICATION?? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LINK.

I'm doing illustrations for these fills too (no doujinshi because I fail) -- clearly between the three of us (okay, mostly you guys XD) we will never let this thing die. XD

Re: TurnAway!Anon says...

From: [identity profile] strangestquiet.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-23 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] hyperjirou.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-07-20 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: TurnAway!Anon says...

From: [identity profile] safelybeds.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-23 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2009-03-22 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] akisazame.livejournal.com
Epic fic is SO EPIC. Like. I want to write fanfic for your fanfic.

Date: 2009-03-22 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kurokagami.livejournal.com
Saw this on the kink meme, and thought I'd come here to comment because OMFG THAT WAS AWESOME!!

...Excuse me while I read all the other fics on your comm <3 <3.

Date: 2009-03-22 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yumenii.livejournal.com
OH MY FUCKING GOD. [INSERT INCOHERENT FANGIRL BABBLING HERE]

You- you outdid yourself this time. I mean, I like all your other fanfics *hi, creepy stalker is creepy? OTL* But- this is just- I'm crying so hard right now, you have no idea.

Would you like fries with your internet, good sir?

Date: 2009-03-22 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] safelybeds.livejournal.com
OverlySpecific!Anon here. You saw my reply on the meme, but...just gotta say again. You are gjkdgjdgkjalk I have no words. I'm totally stalking you now. You and the original filler turned a silly little prompt into the best AU arc I have ever read ever.

Just...<3 I'm so glad I could be a part of this, in my completely on the sidelines way.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] safelybeds.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-22 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] safelybeds.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-22 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] safelybeds.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-22 11:32 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] safelybeds.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-23 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2009-03-22 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] syvia.livejournal.com
XD First, let me thank you for... well, writing this, and a very close second would be for posting it here. Yay for longer posts than LJ allows comments.

This- god I love how much work you've done on this. Clearly you knew or looked further into the mythology. Your beautiful insight into what it could have meant that they died in Yomi, and for Souji to have so many personae was a treat to read. How you used them (through his friends) to call on Izanagi and bring Souji back. Gah! I applaud this and love it so much. This is the best P4 longfic I've read. I look forward to seeing what else you've done.

I adore Yosuke's characterization. The maturity he's gained from loss, from having to lead the team despite it. ;_; Turn Away made me sob, and 'aaaaaaaaaaaaaomg' you gave Souji back. XD

Let me also say, as a fan of the Shadows acting very seductive and aggravating, the scene between Yosuke and Susano-o was REALLY REALLY fun to read. :3

Thank you for taking the time to write this. :D It's thoroughly wonderful.

Date: 2009-03-25 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zero-damage.livejournal.com
I don't have much to say that others haven't already - but you did an amazing job on this :-) Sustained the characterization over ten full parts, kept it consistent, gave great insight into their relationship. Especially well done on Yosuke...watching him as the reluctant leader was fascinating. Awesome work!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] zero-damage.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-03-26 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2009-03-27 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rinnia.livejournal.com
It can't be said enough - this is GORGEOUS. I love all of the fics you've posted here, but you really outdid yourself with this one. It's just. So. Satisfying. It's a great read.

And you gave them a happy ending. :D Doesn't get better than that.

Date: 2009-03-30 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yellow-rawr.livejournal.com
This was a great story.
It became one of my faves. <3
i'm definately going to keep reading other stories you've written. :DD

Date: 2009-04-09 09:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laverinth.livejournal.com
I can't anon for you, so I come here again. :|

You. Amazing. Wow.

My fic fills will never be as awesome. o__o (Man, I need to finish the one I've been working on.... Souji/Yousuke inspiration GO.)

Date: 2009-04-17 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] windmagician.livejournal.com
I just stumbled across this, incredibly late.

oh my god. ;; THIS FIC MADE ME CRY AND SQUEAL all in the same fic. I think I love you. It works so -well- and argh.

I cannot convey the squealy weepy joy I am flailing over here. Thank you for writing something so magnificent!

Date: 2009-04-18 08:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] majutsukai.livejournal.com
Hahahahahah.

If you'll believe it, I read this right after beating the game today. (I was saving it till I got to the True Ending for myself, Re: spoiliers.)

And somehow, you ruined the ending for me. I like your version BETTER. D:

Way to go, man.

(note: This is not actually a bad thing.)

Date: 2009-04-23 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misobomber.livejournal.com
I'd like to give you a standing ovation, but alas, you'll have to settle for a virtual one. *claps madly*

Funny thing is, I never would've come across this if I hadn't had the sudden impulse to look back at some of [livejournal.com profile] mayonakatv's entries and seen [livejournal.com profile] strangestquiet's entry, then checking the website and seeing the link to this. I'm very glad that I did so.

Date: 2009-05-12 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sugarainbow.livejournal.com
I hated you for writing "Turn Away" and making my life miserable while THIIIIIIIIIIS existed?!!!!!!!!!!! *0*


.... I'm sorry and I love you and you are a true souji/yosuke generous fan <3

Date: 2009-06-24 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mollmo.livejournal.com
thank you for awesome. <3 seriously, that's all I can come up with.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] mollmo.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-06-24 03:49 am (UTC) - Expand

omg ;w;

Date: 2009-11-20 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ynlraey.livejournal.com
I love this fic and I know I'm late but hot damn...Imma try drawing this and I'll definitely show you ;w; I hope I can do the same justice as the original auu

Date: 2010-10-04 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zyriex.livejournal.com
This is so incredibly late but... *jaw drop* Absolutely fucking amazing job anon If this were chocolate, then it would be chocolate that makes Godiva, Lindt look like gutter trash! So glad I came across this on tvtropes!

Date: 2011-09-03 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isamunee.livejournal.com
I am incoherent! This is brilliant. Beautiful, touching without being sappy... It's got all the things everyone fell in love with while playing the game. You're incredible. Thank you for doing this!

Date: 2011-10-06 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vosh-daemon.livejournal.com
No words... Should have gotten a poet to read this...

*runs off to revive William Shakespeare*

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let's go, partner!

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